Poetry – Madness

Madness

Madness,

                Stupidity,

                                Insanity!

Wars,

                Forest fires,

                                Hunting!

Pollution,

                Population growth,

                                Politics!

Who allows these leaders to get away with it?

Opher – 25.9.2019

Sometimes I think human beings suffer with mass insanity!

We elect psychopaths.

We do the most ridiculous, foolish things.

We are so cruel and thoughtless.

Violence Against Women! How to deal with it. Some thoughts. There are no easy answers.

First allow me to make some statements from the viewpoint of my beliefs.

All violence is wrong.

Violence against women is abominable and should be eradicated.

Most men are not violent.

The minority who are violent either have reasons for their violence (psychological damage, upbringing, street culture) or are rewarded for their behaviour.

We live in a sexualised society where women are demeaned through pornography (I have nothing against eroticism or graphic sexual imagery – sex is normal – but most pornography depicts women as sluts being bebased and abused).

Sexism is as bad as racism and leads to misogyny.

Women should be free to go where they like, wear what they like and act what they like without fear of violence, rape or murder.

Many men feel the same fear. They too are preyed on by these violent individuals.

Minority groups and gay men are also victimised.

How To Deal with this culture.

The main problem is that this attitude is firmly entrenched in most human societies.

In many parts of the world women are treated as second-class citizens, possessions or chattels. They are controlled by men, made to dress in certain ways, have FGM performed on them, have subservient roles, are kept from power and kept in the home performing menial tasks and producing babies.

Female education is a battle. Equality is a dream.

Even in liberated western countries there is little equality. Our CEOs, Politicians and Religious leaders are predominantly men. Women only recently were given the vote. Their status is still lower than that of men.

We still, as a culture, value macho male decisiveness and posturing over female intellect. Hence we elect macho fools with abusive misogynistic attitudes over sensible women and excuse their sexism and abuse of women. So Trump, Johnson, Bolsonaro, Erdogan and Modi are elected.

The performance of these macho men is lamentable – one only has to look at the pandemic and compare the death-rates with that of female leaders such as Jacinda Ardhern.

Yet still we take macho sexist arrogant males over sensible females.

I spent thirty-six years in education, including head of the pastoral system and as headteacher, attemping to eradicate bullying, sexism, racism and macho culture (with great success).

It is not easy and cannot be achieved by tagging on a few lessons into a crowded curriculum. It has to be a pervasive culture.

The trouble is that many boys come from backgrounds and cultures which are sexist and misogynistic. They are brought up without respect for women. Women must be masked, covered up, consigned to cooking, housework and babies, have no power, are segregated and given secondary roles. They already have a negative view of women and do not see them as equal. Many cultures – particularly the Abrahamic ones – Islam, Judaism and Christianity, subjugate women.

Many boys come from streets where if you do not fight and stand up for yourself you become bullied, beaten up and ostracised. Gang culture values macho posturing and misogyny.

Some females encourage misogyny. They call each other sluts. They bully and they deliberately incite violence against other women.

Macho boys are rewarded with respect from their peers for their ripped bodies and violent ways. They gain status from being tough, rough, violent and sexist.

Macho boys are rewarded with sex. It is the tough hardnuts who get the girlfriends and sex while the kind, considerate boys are considered geeks and given low status.

Time and again I have had to deal with violent incidents and watched videos of these tough kids beating someone to a pulp. Very often the incident was incited by a girl and has a bunch of baying girls demanding even greater violence.

Our justice system and policing are sexist. Girls who dress immodestly or get drunk are said to be asking for it and are not taken seriously. Girls who are walking alone at night or going through dangerous areas are considered foolhardy and asking for it. In rape cases, girls who are sexually active are considered almost as if they can’t be raped and it is no big deal.

How to deal with it.

I do not think it is as simple as education or even getting males to take responsibility. Most males do. Most males are victims of this macho culture themselves. They do not support sexism or misogyny but if they stand up against the macho minority they become victimised, labelled as weak and bullied.

So:

  1. We educate boys not to be macho
  2. We change cultures that peripheralise or subjugate women
  3. We bring women into positions of power
  4. We educate girls not to support macho culture
  5. We eradicate bullying
  6. We stop electing macho leaders and start appreciating the ‘softer’ skills
  7. We eradicate violence
  8. We strongly penalise bullying in all forms and violence in all forms, racism, sexism and misogyny
  9. We update our policing and legal systems
  10. We create real equality

I really do not think this is easy to solve. I think that Trump and Brexit have given power to violent groups of macho fascists, racists and misogynists. It has put back the climate of racial and sexual harmony a few decades. We were making good progress but the condoning of Trump’s misogyny, Johnson’s philandering and the open racism that underlies both leaders is all part of the same problem.

Until we change our culture, systems and voting patterns we are stuck with endemic racism, sexism and misogyny. It comes from both the top and the bottom.

Time for radical change!!

There should be no place for violence against women!!

Poetry – One Gaff and a Slow Slice

One Gaff and a Slow Slice

One gaff

And a slow serrated slice,

Sawing and hacking to the cord.

Then relief.

Agony prolonged,

Intense,

And grief.

Gentle and trusting

Easily herded

Into the shallows

Where the blood

Is curded.

Gleefully stabbed.

The shock resounds.

Excited hunter

With joy rebounds.

No concept of the pain.

Sad meat upon the shore.

Crimson seeps between

Each grain

But the fever

Still screams

For more.

Butchered in the sunset

Ruddy water

Reflects

The crime.

Hunter stands

In depths

Of gory grime

As one

Of the great tragedies

Of our time.

Opher 4.7.2015

One Gaff and a Slow Slice

This was the theme of a number of my Anthropocene Apocalypse poems.

The dolphins and porpoises have bigger brains than us. They are certainly intelligent. But they are gentle creatures with no need to build shelters or machines, let alone weapons.

I stood on the hills above Wineglass Bay in Tasmania with my wife Liz and my friends Dylan and Julia. It is one of the most beautiful sights with its emerald green water and golden sands. I thought it was called Wineglass Bay solely because of its shape as a wine glass. It wasn’t. In the older days they would herd thousands of dolphins into the shallow water. The hunters would stand in the water gaffing them with huge serrated hooks and sawing through their necks to sever the spinal cord with great serrated knives. They would continue in an orgy of murder until all the trapped terrorized animals were slaughtered and the water they stood in was turned from emerald green to crimson. From the hills above the water of the bay was turned red as if it was a half-full glass of Beaujolais.

Can you imagine that much blood?

Can you imagine the pain? To be speared with a huge gaff while some brute slowly cuts through your body with a great knife?

You’d think that was bad enough. That those were uncivilized days long gone. Back then people were brutalized and cruel. Except it is still going on today in the same grisly manner as before. In the Faeroe Islands they are still doing exactly this.

They are as bad as the sadists of ISIS!

Positive Vibes – A Vision of Hope and Success.

In this gloom-laden vision of the world dominated by overpopulation, terrorism, war and environmental degradation it is occasionally good to focus on the great things that are going on:

Poverty

In the 25 years from 1980 to 2005 those living in abject poverty was reduced by 20%. We are well on the way to eradicating poverty altogether!

War

War deaths are decreasing rapidly. They have fallen from 550,000 deaths a year in 1950 to just 50,000 in 2006. The number of wars taking place have reduced as well!

Murder

The murder rate has also come down significantly. In 2012 it was 6.3 per hundred thousand. By 2015 it was down to 5.3.

Terrorism

The number of deaths from terrorism is also decreasing. In 2014 there were 43,566 deaths but by 2016 that had gone down to 34,676 deaths.

Starvation

The rate of undernourishment in Sub-Saharan Africa has also fallen notably, from 30 percent in 1990 to below 20 percent in 2015.

So why do we have this picture of gloom and despair?

It appears that the reason for our gloomy perspective is better information. Every day on the news we are regaled with stories of war, murder, terrorism, starvation and poverty. Stories that previously would have gone under the radar are now given high profile with full gory pictures and details. It creates the impression that the whole world is in crisis.

So – given our success at dealing with these problems (and not withstanding the fact that there is much that still needs doing) it bodes well for our ability to tackle the problems that are looming large:

The overpopulation crisis

Pollution and environmental degradation

The alarming rate of extinction of species

Global warming

So I look forward to the next decade as an opportunity to build on our success, bring wars to an end, take everybody out of poverty and starvation, put a stop to terrorism and reduce violence to zero. As well as that I would hope that we can start tackling conservation seriously, halt further extinctions, reduce the human global population and produce technology that does not pollute.

The future could look very rosy!

Machete Murders – University lecturers, minority groups, secular bloggers, religious groups, westerners and now gay activists!

IMG_2118

Two men, including an editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine, have been hacked to death by suspected Islamist extremists.

The shouted Alahu Akbar. The seven murderers then tricked their way in. They then callously hacked to death the two men with machetes.

This is now what they do in the name of Islam.

They train young children to put on suicide vests filled with nails, screws and ball-bearings.

They rape young girls as young as nine years old.

They murder people in the cruellest most barbaric way they can devise.

They take sex slaves.

They crow on the internet about the inhuman acts of throwing people off buildings, crucifying people, beheading them publically, burning them alive, drowning them, raping, pillaging and torturing.

They show no mercy or remorse.

They believe they are acting in god’s name.

No god would ever sanction the evil these men are doing.

Their victims are bloggers, secular advocates, apostates, Shia, Yazedi, gays, and anyone who does not believe their intolerant evil doctrine.

So what is Bangladesh doing about it? What is Pakistan doing about it? What is Nigeria doing about it?

Are they hunting down these scum?

Civil Rights – The murder of Medgar Evers.

 

Medgar Evers was a Civil Rights leader in Mississippi. He campaigned for desegregation. He was involved with the desegregation of schools and colleges, desegregation of beaches, restrooms and organised boycotts. His high profile activities and leadership role made him a target for the white supremacists. They threatened to kill him if he did not stop.

 

Medgar, like so many of those Civil Rights Activists, was a brave man. He knew these were no idle threats and that if he continued to fight for freedom and justice he would most likely be murdered. It did not deter him.

 

He continued even after a car came close to running him down outside his house and a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of his house. He did not stop despite the risks to himself and his young family. Freedom was worth dying for.

 

Back in Mississippi the life of a black man was cheap. There was no protection from the law. People were beaten, shot and lynched with impunity. The Kl Klux Klan were rife and many of the police and judges were in the organisation. There was no protection. The black community was terrorised.

 

How many people would have the courage to continue in the face of such threats? Knowing that in the dead of night a callous murdered could set fire to your house or shoot you in your bed and there was no police to help you?

 

Medgar Evers did not flinch.

 

On June the 12th 1963, as he was getting out of his car in the drive of his house, Medgar Evers was shot in the back.

 

The coward white supremacist Byron Del La Beckwith, a member of the Klu Klux Klan, had hidden in the bushes and shot him in the back.

 

Many people wrote tributes and songs to Medgar Evers – the most important being Bob Dylan’s – ‘Only a Pawn in their Game’ – which suggested that Byron was a pawn being used by the senior faceless supremacists who were terrorising people for their own ends.

 

Freedom has been bought with blood! It is always hard to gain and easy to give away!

The murder of the last witch in Scotland.

witch_burning_by_mreach-d3t8xq4

In the 1740s the meek and mild followers of gentle Jesus who resided in the hamlet of Knockdoor in Scotland barbarically killed the last witch. The old lady was dragged from her house given a rigged trial in a kangaroo court and murdered in the most cruel manner they Christians could devise.

There was no turning of the other cheek, no love, peace and understanding, no taking of beams from their own eyes, but instead was a lot of casting of the first stones.

The evidence for this ghastly institutionalised crime was that she had turned her own daughter into a pony and had ridden her around town.

She was publicly tried for the offence and the clincher was that she stumbled over a word when reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Gaelic.

The sentence was death.

This evil witch was then dragged out by the mob and plunged into a barrel of boiling tar and set alight.

I cannot imagine what it would feel like to be thrust into boiling tar. I think I might have preferred crucifixion.

All the good Christian town-folk came to gloat over their neighbour’s agonies, argue over her possessions and rejoice that another evil witch was gone. It was probably the daughter who inherited the house and pony!

It sounds dreadful but our meek and mild followers of the Saviour of love did away with an estimated 2 million witches in Europe.

It has a lot of resonance with what is going on with ISIS burning pilots in metal cages, beheading, burying alive, crucifying, stoning, pressing and delighting in torture and cruelty.

Theocracy is great isn’t it?  The wonder is that anybody questions why I’m a confirmed Antitheist!

I think we need to build a more positive zeitgeist than anything religion can provide. Their history does not look good!